Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Podcasts
  2. Audio Long Reads
7 May 2022updated 11 May 2022 9:42am

A year inside GB News: “What the hell have we done?”

Staffers past and present share the story of a tumultuous 12 months.

By Stuart McGurk and Chris Stone

It launched with a promise to shake up the staid world of television news – to challenge broadcasting’s perceived liberal, left-wing bias. One year on, and faced with a new rival in TalkTV, how is GB News’s revolution going?

Freelance writer Stuart McGurk spent several months reporting the inside story, as told by staffers past and present: those who were there for a chaotic June 2021 launch, those who quit, and those who stayed.

In this deeply researched and often very funny long read, McGurk charts the highs and lows of Britain’s first new rolling news channel in 30 years. Whose idea was it to interview a Winston Churchill impersonator? Why did producers start booking their own parents as guests? And who thought driving a former Soviet police car into Ukraine’s front line was a good idea? All this, and much more, is revealed.  

This article was first published on on 29 April, and in the magazine on 5 May. You can read the text version here.

Read by Chris Stone.

Podcast listeners can subscribe to the New Statesman for just £1 a week for 12 weeks using our special offer. Just visit

Content from our partners
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK
Fantastic mental well-being strategies and where to find them
Accelerating the take-up of electric vehicles

How to listen to Audio Long Reads

1. In podcast apps

Audio Long Reads is available to listen on all major podcast players, including Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle PodcastsYouTube and more.

Either click the links above to open in your preferred player, or open the podcast app on your device and search for “Audio Long Reads”.

Follow or subscribe in your podcast app to receive new episodes as soon as they publish.

2. On the New Statesman website

The podcast is also available to listen right here on the New Statesman website. Bookmark, where we will publish new episodes every Saturday morning.

3. On your smart speaker

If you have an Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple HomePod, ask it to “play the latest episode of Audio Long Reads from the New Statesman”.

The command will also work on other smart devices equipped with Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.